Sonntag, 21.01.2018 15:33 Uhr

The Ship and the Sea: a fascinating journey aboard a ship

Verantwortlicher Autor: Gianluca Conversi Somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea, 29.12.2017, 17:43 Uhr
Fachartikel: +++ Special interest +++ Bericht 5031x gelesen
A Grumman A.6E Intruder on deck
A Grumman A.6E Intruder on deck  Bild: © Sandro Zucchelli, restoration Gianluca Conversi/PSC

Somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea [ENA] One day, the wave asked the sea: "Do you love me?". And the sea replied: "My love is so strong that every time you move away towards the land, I pull you back and take you into my arms again. Without you, my life would meaningless. I would be a flat sea without any emotions.

You are the essence of my existence". This made the wave happy – in the sea’s embrace. (Tony Cospan) Every time we see a ship sailing, we are fascinated by her great size, the big propellers pushes her in the frothy waters, elegant in breaking waves, higher like a skyscraper; if we look at her through the windows of a jet flying in the sky and look down, we do not recognize her. It is the Sea being protagonist in its immensity, dotted with any kind of boats large as pinheads leaving the sparkling trail, thin lines in the huge expanse of water. And we, "Aviation enthusiasts", can only think to the naval aviation. At the aircraft carriers.

80 combat aircrafts. All concentrated in a colorful coriander, dot in the blue deep sea. It is very difficult to fly-off from a Carrier: it means knowing the sea, the currents, the winds and take-offs and landings happen on a surface that has the size of a handkerchief. The sunset over the sea is something sublime and reconciles us with the grandeur of the world, so disfigured by insensitive men who do not deserve the beauties of the earth and the creation that have been given to us. And as the sea recovers the wave, the aircraft takes-off from her ship and every time the boat takes it back in her powerful arms, the arresting cables, brings it back to herself.

Like the wave and the sea, the plane and the ship make us taste the precariousness that makes things precious. The wave and the sea are still there, in their infinite game of emotions. And they pretend that it will be the last time the wave heads towards the land never to return, but then in the end, the need to come back is always stronger than everything else. In that dream of endless love. Top Gun. An apotheosis of wedding between a simple comedy and flight’s adrenaline, the take-off from the ship and the low-fly-past over the tower at the end of the mission. The superb footage of the famous film and its photography tell us that it is a well-made movie. But it's only a movie.

Grumman F-14A Tomcat Jolly Rogers on Cat 2

Well, it's not like that. The breathtaking backlit, the airplanes folded on themselves in the midst of hundreds of sailors and aviators that fight for a bit of space, the sunset that warms the hearts and dyes the gray fuselages are reality. For those lucky enough to appreciate the chaos of an aircraft carrier, the breathtaking scenery "somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea" will bring you indelible emotions and memories. And for those who have not had such luck, it remain to admire the sea, the aviators and sailors; So, look at them in pictures and photographs of decades ago, because of the increased security and the contraction of the aircraft carriers have imposed a heavy tribute.

Yes, we just have to “taste” the restored airplanes and exhibited in the museums. Looking at them, our mind turns to the times when the elegant and feared F-14 Tomcat was still the American aircraft carriers’ King, the A-6 was the prince's of naval bombers and still regret, while the Hornet, a young hornet intended to replace everything and everyone, was taking its first steps on the worn bridges of the US Navy super-carriers. The dream continues. USS Independence (July 4, 1982) USS America USS Saratoga USS Theodore Roosevelt USS Forrestal USS Dwight D. Eisenhower

Sandro was five times on board and one visiting the USS Independence berther at Trieste on July 4, he took home hundreds of hours of footage, from the Super 8 to the VHS: his passion was (and still is) for filming videos, with the reflex to support when the coils ended. All manual shots, there was no autofocus and digital cameras came afterwards. These are his images, extracted from many years ago reduced quality scans. I watched hours of raw videos disturbed by the powerful radar of USS America; they weren’t the synthesis mounted with sounds, music and pressing scenes, but they were what he saw during standard daily flight operations.

Aboard USS America

Men, Women, Aircrafts, decks, cats, skies, sunsets and ... the lapping of the wave with its sea. I enjoyed everything calmly, dreaming to be aboard. Do the same yourselves. (Special thanks to Sandro Zucchelli for the videos and the old pictures, to www.aviation-report.com and www.pitispotterclub.it - please go to the links and enjoy pictures and other aviation themes)

USMC McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom II
Dramatic sheene aboard USS America aicraft carrier
A McDonnell-Douglas (Boeing) F/A-18A Hornet ready for take-off
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